George Clooney, Steve Wynn Trade Verbal Barbs During Las Vegas Dinner

2:23 PM PST 04/23/2014 by THR Staff
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George Clooney, Steve Wynn

"HE called the president an asshole ... that is a fact," the actor stated about an argument with the casino mogul. Wynn, meanwhile, framed the argument as instigated by a healthcare discussion.

Celebrities and casino moguls -- they get into politically-tinged dinner arguments too. 

George Clooney and casino mogul Steve Wynn made headlines for trading verbal barbs at a Las Vegas dinner in early April -- with President Obama as an apparent topic of conversation. 

The details of the incident are slim, but the actor released a statement to THR through his publicist describing a conversation in which he claims to have defended Obama from a comment by Wynn deeming the president to be an "asshole." 

"There were 9 people at that table... So you can ask them... Steve likes to go on rants... ...HE called the president an asshole...that is a fact...I said that the President was my longtime friend and then he said 'your friend is an asshole'... At that point I told Steve that HE was an asshole and that I wasn't going to sit at his table while he was being such a jackass," Clooney wrote in a statement.  "And I walked out. There were obviously quite a few more adjectives and adverbs used by both of us as I left. Those are all the facts. It had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with character."

The incident was first reported by Las Vegas gossip writer Norm Clarke in his Las Vegas Review-Journal column. The argument occurred at the luxurious Botero restaurant at the mogul's Wynn Hotel two weeks ago, according to Clarke. (A publicist for Clooney confirmed the details of the column to THR.)

Steve Wynn, meanwhile, framed the spat with Clooney as being sparked by a discussion of healthcare coverage. 

"Then he sat down and started talking about the Affordable Care Act, and that’s when I spoke up,”  Wynn told the Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist. “He didn’t like that either. I think my discussion about the Affordable Care Act was the straw that broke the camel’s back. “When he’s drinking, he considers himself a close personal buddy of the president."

Wynn's publicist did not offer an additional statement to THR, but confirmed the reported details. 

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